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New Tool from Principal Funds Helps Advisors Navigate Retirement Plan RFPs

Materials designed to improve efficiency and increase success rate

August 13, 2013 (Des Moines, Iowa) — According to a recent study, 71 percent of retirement plan sponsors conducted an advisor search within the past five years[1]. To help advisors develop skill and efficiency in responding to retirement plan requests for proposals (RFPs), Principal Funds created a suite of materials to guide them through the process and help drive successful outcomes.

"We heard from many advisors who found the RFP process more time consuming and less successful than they had hoped," said Rob Logan, Principal Funds regional vice president. "We applied our expertise in the retirement space to create materials that help advisors better navigate the process, positioning them to win new business and retain current clients."

Mastering the Advisor RFP is a research-based tool kit that offers insights for advisors to use when responding to retirement plan RFPs. It identifies and defines five factors that generally drive successful RFP outcomes, including:

  1. Differentiated story: reinforcing a unique value proposition throughout the RFP response
  2. Efficient process: building a repeatable process and assigning clear responsibility among internal resources
  3. Accessible tools: generating a database of well-written RFP responses
  4. Prospect engagement: creating meaningful touch points with the prospect before and after RFP delivery
  5. Quality deliverables: continuously evaluating RFP practices on both wins and non-wins

Principal Funds worked with Ann Schleck & Company, LLC to identify the factors that help generate success. "It's becoming more of a requirement for advisors to submit RFPs in order to be selected as a consultant for a retirement plan," said Ann Schleck, the firm's founder and principal. "When RFP responses are used as a tool to screen advisors, it's easy to get eliminated from consideration—especially if the plan sponsor can't discern the important intangible differences. This tool kit helps advisors follow steps to create meaningful responses and put their best foot forward."

Ann Schleck & Company also consulted with Principal Funds on last year's Beneath the Surface report, which collected plan-sponsor data on advisor tenure, selection criteria and valued services. The report and accompanying materials are available here.

For more news and insights from the Principal Financial Group®, connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ThePrincipal.

About Principal Funds

Principal Funds is a leading provider of mutual funds, with $98 billion in assets under management.[2] Principal Funds brings expertise in global investment management, asset allocation and retirement leadership to financial professionals and investors. Including its target-risk and target-date offerings, Principal Funds is the fifth largest manager of lifecycle funds in the industry.[3] The companies that make up Principal Funds are members of the Principal Financial Group®. For more information, visit www.principalfunds.com.

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®) [4] is a global investment management leader offering retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement, asset management and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies. Founded in 1879 and a member of the FORTUNE 500®, the Principal Financial Group has $450.6 billion in assets under management[5] and serves some 19.8 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www.principal.com.

Principal Funds, Inc. is distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc., member of the Principal Financial Group®. Principal Funds Distributor, Principal Shareholder Services, Principal Management Corporation and its affiliates, and Principal Funds, Inc. are collectively referred to as Principal Funds.

[1]
What Type of Professional Retirement Plan Advisor is Right for my Plan?, Retirement Advisor Council, April 2013.
[2]
As of June 30, 2013. Includes all share classes of the Principal Funds, Inc. and Principal Variable Contracts Funds, Inc.
[3]
FRC Mutual Fund Lifecycle Report Q1 2013.
[4]
"The Principal Financial Group" and "The Principal" are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
[5]
As of June 30, 2013.

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